700 Subscribers Q and A Request

Hi guys!

Over on my youtube channel I have almost reached 700 subscribers.  To celebrate I thought it would be fun to finally do a Q and A.  I wanted to give you my lovely readers the chance to participate.

Since most of the readers of this blog are into movies and animation ask me about those topics.  Ask me about Disney or the Disney parks or what I loved growing up.  Ask me about television or what I think of a particular property or brand such as Marvel or Batman.

You can ask me about other topics like books, music, swimming, life, blogging, work.  Whatever you want!

You can put your put your question in the comments of this post or the video or you can email me at smilingldsgirl@yahoo.com. I look forward to answering your questions and chatting with you!

Thank you for all your support!

Just so you know I am also starting a Disney Canon series on the youtube channel you guys might want to check out.  I will review a movie a week so this week posted on Snow White


Liebster Award Drew’s Movie Reviews

award-liebster-e1431999353202Hey guys!  My friend over at Drew’s Movie Reviews has nominated me for Liebster Award.  Thanks! I figure it would be a fun way for you all to get to know me better.  A reminder my regular blog has a lot of this information about me at smilingldsgirl.com.  My regular blog does get into politics and religion a little bit so not for everyone but I try to have a variety.

So here are the rules to the Liebster Award.

  • Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the coveted award.
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  • Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.
  • Can you wiggle your ears?  No.  I wish I could!
  • Do you watch any web series? If so, what’s your favorite one?  I don’t watch any because they tend to be pretty R rated in content. I liked Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and will watch Mindy Project now that it is moving over to Hulu.  There are a lot of shows I watch online like Rick and Morty but are still aired on cable.
  • What is the first movie you remember watching in the theaters?  Little Mermaid and Home Alone is the first comedy I remember.
  • Do you prefer 3D or 2D movies or are you indifferent?  2D because I have a lazy eye so 3D is tough for me.
  • Do/Did you play any sports? Which ones?  I’m an open water swimmer.
  • What is your favorite card game? Phase 10
  • What is your favorite board game? I love games like Apples to Apples, Pictionairy but probably Cranium because it combines so many fun games into one
  • What is your favorite video game? Not a video game fan so I guess Tetris.
  • If you had a time machine and could go back in time without consequence of messing up the future, where and when would you visit and why? This is going to sound cheesy but it’s true I would go back and meet Jesus, hear the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Do you have a motto or mantra? I love the Nora Ephron quote “Above all, be the heroine of your life not the victim”
  • What is your favorite thing about blogging or being a blogger?  My favorite part is the experience of writing whether it be a movie review or a more personal entry on my regular blog.

2015-01-31 14.58.26

Thanks for those questions.  Now I have to give 11 random facts about myself

1. I’ve been blogging since 2008

2.  I hate driving.  If I could have a chauffeur I would never miss it.

3. I love subscription boxes and review them on my youtube channel along with movies.

4. I got my dream job last year working in social media marketing.

5. I hate tomato juice

6. I’ve swam and completed 8 open water races including swimming the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim 4 times.

7. My favorite books are North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I have read both books at least 7 times

8. I met Jackie Chan and his autobiography is actually super good. He’s had an insane life growing up in an orphanage that performed Chinese opera.

9. I have an MBA from University of Phoenix and a BA from Brigham Young University.

10. I served a mission for my church in Indiana from 2003-2005 so pretty much any movie during those years I haven’t seen except for Incredibles, Return of the King, and HP 3.

11. I’ve had surgery on my eyes twice to correct a lazy eye and I can’t see those darn Magic Eye pictures and I hate them!

So that is my 11 random facts.  I don’t know who to nominate but I’ll do:

Fast Film Reviews

Natalie over at Disney Freak

Heather at Hope for Heather

Kyle at http://www.kylesanimatedworld.blogspot.com/

That’s good enough for now.

Here are my 11 questions

1. If you had to pick music, movies, or books what would you pick?

2.  Favorite animated film?

3. What movie do you think is actually better than the book?

4. What is the best dish you cook?

5. Favorite candy bar?

6. What’s worst date you’ve ever been on?

7.  Mac or PC?

8.  What is the movie that you relate too the most? That seems to be telling your story

9. Who would play you in a movie about your life?

10. What do you collect?

11. What’s the movie you went to see in the theater multiple times the most?

There you go!  Feel free to give me your answers in the comments section or answer them even if not tagged.  I wasn’t sure who had recently been tagged so I didn’t know who to pick. Have fun!

New Project Poll Results

Last week I set up a poll asking you my readers to vote for the next series of reviews you would like me to do.  Thank you to all who voted and I must say the responses surprised me a little bit.


The top 5 are

5.  with 5% of vote- The Best of Simpsons Series

4. with 5.75% of vote- Studio Ghibli Series

3. with 8.05% of vote- Hitchcock Series

2. with 10.34% of vote- Disney Nature Documentary Series

and the clear winner

1. with 18.39% of vote- Pixar Films and Shorts Series

Any surprises for you?  I’m not surprised by Pixar winning especially with Inside Out coming out in June.  But I was surprised with Disney Nature getting the second spot.  I think it should be pretty easy for me to do both as there are only 14 Pixar films and 8 Disney nature and it will be perfect as both have releases in the next 2 months. I’m excited!

I’m not sure how to structure the Pixar reviews because I am a huge fangirl.  Honestly I would give all but 3 an A. How interesting is that to read about me gush about movie after movie?  If you guys have any guidance or suggestions about how I could make them interesting I would love to hear.

So Pixar and Disney Nature it is.  Thanks again and I look forward to some fun blogging in the future. disney nature


Jerks, Trolls and Critics


I’ve mentioned on this blog several times how I have always loved the art of criticism, particularly film criticism.  I grew up watching Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert debating about movies passionately like someone had insulted their child and not a movie.  Gene and Roger taught me to love movies but also that part of the fun of movies was talking about them with friends.

Unfortunately I don’t have that many friends who love movies in my real life.  I’m not sure why but most of my friends are more TV people than movies which is cool and certainly can provide much to talk about but there is something about the whole story of a movie which excites me in a different way.  Books you live with characters for many hours.  TV shows you get regular updates on said characters and plots; whereas, a movie you get the whole story in 2 hours and that’s exciting.

So I turn to the blog community and discuss the movies I see and 99% of the time I have a wonderful experience.  Like Gene and Roger sometimes we disagree strongly on films but again that is part of the fun of it.

However, there is something that annoys me in the online movie community.  I feel like some critics/bloggers approach reviews like I do when given a manuscript to review.  If I’m being requested as an editor I am going into said reading looking for what can be better, looking for mistakes. That is different than my approach as a general reader of books.

Sometimes I feel like people go into movies trying to be an editor and not an audience member.  Instead of letting the movie dazzle you and having an open mind you nitpick every little thing that doesn’t make sense or requires a logical leap for the story.  Every little last flaw is noted until it seems like they had a miserable experience at the movie.

To be fair, there is something about truly bad movies that invites that type of analysis.  I heard Emma Thompson say once ‘only in bad movies do you notice the craft services table in the shot’ and that is so true.  If I’m enjoying the experience and loving the characters I am way less likely to care if a plot hole exists or a character is one-note.

We also all have our tastes and it is impossible to go into a movie with a completely blank slate.  If you are a part of the movie online community you are going to hear buzz, watch trailers and have some expectations. For example, many people seem to be disappointed with Interstellar because probably partly the expectations were very high (haven’t seen it yet) whereas Gravity was more of a pleasant surprise for a lot of us since it’s not supposed to be a Christopher Nolan masterpiece.

So yes we all have some preconceived notions going into a film but I try to set those aside and am more than willing to admit when a movie surprised me.  For instance, I hated The Rescuers, so  wasn’t expecting to like Rescuers Down Under and then the movie dazzled me and won me over.

Recently I was so impressed with Big Hero 6.  I thought it was something new and different from Disney and was just charmed by it from beginning to end.  For the most part critics agreed with me but the blogging community has been more mixed.  Many are in the middle on it which I respect and can understand but one review I listened to yesterday said ‘it was the weakest Disney offering in the last 20 years’.  I’m sorry but that is just absurd.  You are going to tell me that Big Hero 6 is worse than Chicken Little? I defy anyone to make that case.

Such hyperbole I suppose gets clicks but sometimes I wonder with certain bloggers if going to movies is such an unpleasant experience than why go? Some are so routinely negative on their posts that I don’t get why they go to the movies at all unless they just like criticizing stuff.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a bad movie review.  I love the Nostalgia Critic and every year get a kick out of Jeremy Jahns or the Schmoes Know’s Worst of the Year list.  Why? Because it is either funny in the case of the NC or they have proven their viability in recommending many good movies that I trust them with their bad reviews.  I have seen their perspectives fleshed out in videos so even if I disagree and like a move they hate I can understand where they are coming from and respect it.

When I was reviewing the renaissance periods I started reading the rotten reviews on rotten tomatoes because I figured ‘who doesn’t like these movies?’ (at least Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King).  I mean I can see it not being a favorite but to say they are rotten is nuts IMO.  I started to notice that in many Disney classics a magazine called Slant kept coming up on the rotten side.  This magazine gave Beauty and the Beast 1 1/2 stars.  They gave Little Mermaid 2 and Lion King 2 1/2.  I’m sorry but that just screams ‘click baiting!’.  They want people to go to their website because most people just look up one such movie review.  Those clickers don’t realize this is a magazine that clearly is trying to stir the pot and be an agitator.  Once I saw they were so universally critical and couldn’t really back it up they certainly lost my respect.


There is a certain part of the online community that behaves in this way.  They want to attract attention so they dog on things that others love instead of trying to see some value.  Again, why?  What does that offer in the way of discussion and conversation about movies to just criticize everything?

If we go back to Siskel and Ebert they were advocates of film.  You knew they wanted every movie to be good so you respected their opinions when it wasn’t, even if you disagreed.  One of their most famous reviews was for the movie North, which I have not seen given their warnings.  This review was over-the-top but it was because they had such passion for films that it was taken seriously by most people.  If they harped this way on all movies their feelings on North would have been unmemorable.

It’s a tough to do but I wish more bloggers would try to be an advocate for film.  If animation is your thing than be an advocate for it.  Explain to me why a film frustrates you because you love the art and it even angers you to see it done so poorly. But also share with me that transcendent experience of when a movie works and takes you to a new place, makes you a better person. I’ve tried to do both and enjoyed it immensely.  Siskel and Ebert were amazing advocates for films they loved.  If we look at their review of Hoop Dreams we see equal passion as their hate for North.

That’s what I hope my reviews do.  Yes, I have movies I hate but it’s only because I love Disney and animation so much that the failures frustrate me! In fact, I recently did a worst of list; however, there were only 3 F’s in all my reviews (4 if you count my Maleficent) so even a movie like The Rescuers which I personally hate I still had some good things to say about and gave it 2 grades because I can see why others really like it.  I think only having 3 Fs says something about my love for animation.  If there were 25 F’s than my reviews start to lose any sense of credibility. (I had 22 A’s!)

We are so lucky to live in an era where we can all be part of this discussion, not just the professionals.

A youtuber that I think does this balance of critique and finding the positives is named Oliver Harper.  I can’t give enough praise for his reviews.  They are thorough, almost more like a podcast than a 5 minute review, and he covers everything from the music, to the casting, to everything else.  He always shows such respect for any movie even true stinkers like Batman and Robin and again it gives his reviews a lot of credibility in my book.

In fact, most youtubers are very fair and most bloggers, so I am talking to a small minority here.  I’m talking to the people who just never seem to have anything nice to say.  They just have such miserable experiences at every movie that it seems like a hopeless enterprise.  Maybe start reading or playing video games or something else and maybe you’ll enjoy that more?

Like I said, I really don’t mind when a critic dogs on a film.  In fact, I find it quite entertaining but it has to be earned and the approach of the review should be as an audience member not as an editor with a red pen marking all the stuff that is wrong.

When I was doing the Mulan review I started looking at feminist blogs and was overwhelmed at how negative many of them were.  They just hated every movie and again it begs the question why are you watching movies?  There was one I saw that had 10 movies they recommended and literally 100s of 0 to 1 star including Mulan.  Groan.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by frequent commenter on this blog Swanpride and her feminist media blog ‘Honoring the Heroine’.  I don’t always agree with her but I enjoy talking about movies with her.   I think some issue bloggers like feminism see themselves more as voices of protest than movie lovers.  One such site said ‘it’s time to be vocal about what needs to change”.  I’m sorry but we are talking about movies.  This is not politics with laws that could hurt or help women.  The idea that your nitpicking every movie is somehow part of a great change for women I find laughable.  If anything the honoring approach of Swanpride is much more likely to  change anything in leading people to positive portrayals of women,  but in the end it’s entertainment. Want to change the plight of women? Stop harping about movies and go volunteer at a shelter or help UNICEF. Honestly these movie blog crusades are just silly.

Again, back to Siskel and Ebert, that passion and discussion is what makes movie-going fun.  And I feel a lot of bloggers, crusaders or not, miss the fun part of it and just try to to turn the word critic from a noun into a verb.

When I wrote my Wreck It Ralph review I was nervous because I do not love that movie as much as other people do.  I don’t hate it but to me it is average. I defended what I had to say as well as I could and surprisingly didn’t get much of a pushback.  I have to believe that is partly because I had established a blog with a tone that was fair and passionate about animation. People are less likely to be resistant of your opinion if they can tell you respect them, their feelings and the film they love.


Anyway, this long rant is just to say be positive, expect to be dazzled and then when you find movies you don’t like go for it! But enough already with the trolls and jerks and let’s have real critics.  Don’t just be the Statler and Waldorf of movie blogs.  Just be yourself and let your passion for films come out and enjoy the discussion!

Nanowrimo and Future

Hey guys!  This is just a quick update because some of you have asked what my plans are for the blog now that the initial project is done.  Well, of course we will have the Big Hero 6 review which I will see November 7th and post soon after.  I will also continue to release top 10 lists and maybe even review other Disney’s I love not in the canon.

However, there won’t be a ton on this blog in November because I will be busy working on Nanowrimo.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  This will be my third year doing it and it is the first year I’ve been unsure what I am writing about.  I have a character idea but not sure what I want to have her do.  It’s going to be a challenge but also kind of exciting too!

Have any of you done Nanowrimo?  It’s a fun chance to challenge yourself and actually finish something.  Plus, you meet new people and get to tell stories which is good for the soul . I highly recommend it!

nanowrimoAs you can imagine writing 50,000 words in 30 days is a challenge so keeping up 2 blogs and work will be impossible but I will do my best to not leave it completely unattended.  If anyone would like to guest blog on either one let me know and I’d be interested as long as it is family friendly and clean.

My other blog if you don’t know is http://smilingldsgirl.com. 

After Nanowrimo I would like to start a new challenge.  I think I will post some holiday themed reviews because I LOVE Christmas movies.  I have also thought of doing a review of the Jim Henson studio movies.  This would be the list with perhaps reviews of the seasons of Muppet Show and a broader Sesame Street review.   What would you like to read my thoughts on?  I’ve thought of Dreamworks, Pixar or Don Bluth but I’m a super fan of Pixar and a marginal fan of the other 2.  Nothing like Disney.

Jim Henson Studio and Creature Shop movies
101 Dalmatians (Creature Effects)
5 Children & It (Character Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Puppetry and Animatronics)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014; with Walt Disney Pictures)
All That (Leroy & Fuzz) (Puppets)
Animal Farm (Creature Effects)
Babe (Creature Effects)
Buddy (1997; with American Zoetrope and Columbia Pictures)
Dinosaurs (Creature Effects)
Dr. Dolittle (Creature Effects)
Dreamchild (Creature Effects)
Five Children and It (2004)
Follow That Bird (1985) (with Children’s Television Workshop and Warner Bros.)
George of the Jungle (Creature Effects)
Good Boy! (2003; with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Creature Effects)
It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) (with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge
Kermit’s Swamp Years (2003) (with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Labyrinth (1986) (with Lucasfilm and TriStar Pictures)
Lost in Space (Creature Effects)
L’Ours (Creature Effects)
Mee Shee: The Water Giant (Visual Effects and Digital Puppetry)
MirrorMask (2005)
Monster Maker
Muppet Treasure Island (1996) (with Walt Disney Pictures)
Muppet*Vision 3D (1991) (with Walt Disney Imagineering)
Muppets from Space (1999; with Columbia Pictures)
Muppets Most Wanted
Rat (2000)
Scooby-Doo (Creature Effects)
Stuart Little 2 (Creature Effects)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Creature Effects)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (Creature Effects)
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999; with Sesame Workshop and Columbia Pictures)
The Country Bears (Creature Effects)
The Dark Crystal (1982)
The Ghost of Faffner Hall (Puppets)
The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) (with Walt Disney Pictures)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
The Muppets
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005) (with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment)
The Neverending Story III (Creature Effects)
The Storyteller (Creature Effects)
The Witches (1990) (with Warner Bros. Pictures)
Where the Wild Things Are (Creature Effects)

Would love your suggestions and thoughts.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone on this blog and learned a lot from formulating my opinion in a semi-articulate way.  It’s been a great experience.  Thanks so much for your support and for reading my silly thoughts.

Sure love ya!  Rachel


54 Disney Films- The How and Where Behind the Project

A few people have asked me some questions about my project and I thought I would take a second to answer them.


Disney is divided into segments.  There are segments for Pixar, Studio Ghibli, Tim Burton animation (Frankenweenie, Nightmare Before Christmas), stop motion animation (Christmas Carol and Mars Meets Mom), and then there is the Disney Toons Dept.  This last segment makes films many times associated with their television franchises such as The Ducktales Movie, or the Tinker Bell movies.

When we say something is ‘Disney cannon’ what we mean is it is from the Walt Disney Animation Studio and is deemed by them as an ‘animated classic’.  That can be confusing because we hear classic we think old but it is actually just movies produced by Walt Disney Studios that they put on the list of animated classics.  Why for instance are 2 of the Winnie the Pooh movies included but others like The Tigger Movie are not? I don’t know?  I guess it just comes to where the movie is made in the company and the resources which go into it.

My friend over at The Lawn Gnome explains it better than I could.


Perhaps I should add this to all of my reviews so you know how to watch it if the film sounds interesting to you.  Basically there are a number of ways.

1. My Blu-ray collection-  I don’t have that many Disney Blu-rays because honestly they aren’t that great.  Unless you especially want to see it in HD and have a TV that will make a big difference there is no need to upgrade a film from a DVD to a Blu-ray.  On most of them the special features and films are identical (and some feel the blu-rays are worse because they clean up images in pictures and take away some of the original earthiness. I’ve heard that about the blu-ray for Sword in the Stone).  That said, if you don’t have them on DVD and you find a good price go for it!  Disney is not keeping as many movies ‘in the vault’ like they used to (probably because of digital copies getting out to the public anyway) so you can find good deals if you are on the hunt for them.

disney blu-rays2. Disney DVDs Collection- Like I said the DVD sets are basically identical minus the HD as the blu-ray so over the years I collected a bunch of those.  I have more than pictured but I went through a misguided phase where I threw cases away to save space.  Stupid!!

disney dvds3. Stream It- There are lots of methods for streaming Disney movies which you can even get in HDX now.  (Some claim there is a huge difference between digital stream and blu-ray but I haven’t noticed it with Disney at least. There is a website called CanIStreamIt.it   where you can look up any movie and see if it is available for free stream, rent or own.  Before I started my project I went through all 54 and checked them on CanIStreamIt.it and knew which one’s I would need to acquire from different sources.

can I stream it

Three of the biggest sites are vudu, amazon and netflix.

Vudu you purchase and rent on an individual basis but they have some great deals including daily rental discounts and an entire Disney Collections storefront.  Most rentals cost between $2.99 and $4.99 depending on how picky you are about HD.  My blu-ray players have apps for vudu which makes it easy.  I can even watch vudu and netflix on my phone if I want.   There is no monthly cost for vudu it is per purchase.

Vudu also gives you the rotten tomatoes score and review blips for any movie you look at which is nice, and you can share your experience on social media easily.

vuduAmazon is similar to vudu but they have a large library of free viewing films for prime members (a yearly fee that covers your 2 day shipping and other usage of the site).  It is an app on my downstairs blu-ray but not upstairs and it is not available for viewing on your phone (but really Disney deserves bigger than a 4 inch screen!).  You can also load your digital hd copies that come with most blu-rays onto either amazon or vudu (and you can watch them at disneymovierewards.com).

Amazon gives you reviews from fans if that helps you decide to view a movie or not.

amazonNetflix is the other major way to watch Disney films.  Their streaming services are charged by the month and I think it is $7.99 in the US.  They sometimes rotate a movie out so if you love it probably best to procure it some other way as it is not like vudu where once you buy it it’s in your library for good.   But if you are not a rewatcher of movies than it is a great, affordable solutions.  Right now they have The Rescuers movies, Pocahontas, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Sword in the Stone and other Disney films on Netflix.

netflixIf you were curious I do not have a fancy TV.  It is a plasma Philips I bought on craigslist in 2009 but it seems to do the job just fine.

plasma tvIf you are a Comcast subscriber they have a ‘Disney Family Movie Channel’ that is a premium on demand channel and those films rotate as well.  They do a good job getting odd or unusual films in there and I watched Saludos Amigos and Three Cabelleros on the channel.  It is $5.95 a month where I live.

family movie channel

4. VHS it!-  I know it’s old school but I have a TV/VCR combo (2 actually in different rooms) and for harder titles to find like Aladdin VHS can still be a good method.  Again I’m not too picky about the HD angle.  I actually watched Snow White, Pinocchio and Melody Time on VHS for this project and I was able to get them for .50 each.  Not half bad.




Well, first of all I have been a blogger for 7 years and a youtuber for about 2.  I love social media and interacting with people from all over the world, especially about something I love like Disney.  I have done movie reviews on both my old site and my channel (in fact, I just posted reviews on my channel of Boyhood and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

http://smilingldsgirl.com My Regular Blog

To read a written review I did on a movie I did not care for this summer called Austenland-


My Channel


My review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes-

I have loved criticism my whole life.  I was a huge Siskel and Ebert fan growing up and find it fascinating how individuals can see art and have such differing responses . My parents raised me to ask questions and not just be an absorber of art.  So it is the perspective I am coming from.  To me noshing over a movie with friends, even online friends, is part of the fun of going to a movie.

For a long time I have wanted to watch all of the Disney cannon because there were films I had heard about like The Black Cauldron but never seen.  I was curious but never could find the time . Then in July my MCL tore and I found myself with limited mobility.

knee2It was also screwing up my already problematic sleeping schedule (you have probably noticed a lot of 2-4am posts.  I’m a terrible insomniac). I figured I needed something to feel productive because I was literally sitting around all evening once work was finished.  So, I decided to dive in and finally watch the Disney cannon.  At first I was confused and thought it was 57 movies because the list I had included The Wild, Christmas Carol and Mars Needs Moms.  Then I figured it out and changed it over to 54.

One of the nice things about Disney is most of the movies aren’t very long.  Usually around 75 minutes so really it is just a few minutes longer than a tv show like Project Runway or Survivor . Most of my shows are in between seasons so that worked out perfectly too.  It was easy for me to watch a 75 minute film and blog about it daily or every other day depending on my schedule.  These next 26 are going to be harder because most of them are longer but once I start a project I never stop so we will get all 54 for the Big Hero 6 premiere in November!

As far as my knee I am probably 80% healed but still some pain and not able to do a lot of standing or walking.  Hopefully I can get back to swimming soon.


For me it is a process writing a review.  I do as much research as I can before watching the movie, even for a movie I know pretty well.  The wikipedia on Disney films is actually pretty good, Disney wiki, other bloggers, articles, reviews etc are also helpful.  If I have one I will watch behind the scenes and audio commentaries.

I also take notes both of my research, the plot and my responses.

disney notesSome of the package films I will have a tab for each of the segments so I can keep them straight.  With Little Mermaid I had 2 tabs because there was so much in the audio commentary I wanted to keep that separate.   I couldn’t capture all my notes on a screen capture.  They are pretty in depth.   As a grad student I learned how to take detailed notes quickly and I find I enjoy the films better when taking notes (super nerd I know).

One thing that helps  is I am a very fast typist and writing the prose of the review isn’t difficult for me.  In fact, as much as I enjoy youtube I find editing a video to be more challenging.  Plus, once you’ve uploaded it is harder to make corrections like I can with my blog entries.  Youtube is also more restrictive on copyright rules than blogging and if I get strikes against my channel even though it is fair use it cold be a big pain.

In June I also ended 10 years of accounting and was hired to work as a digital marketing specialist so anything I learn on any social media isn’t just for fun but helps me with my career as well.


It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve tried my best to be open minded to every movie, even one’s I previously did not care for.  I also have tried to be positive and not trash any films.  This is Disney and they all have some good traits.  I haven’t given an F to any film because nothing has deserved an F.  An F would be for a total failure like The Smurfs or The Lorax (2 least favorite animated movies).  I know when I read a review I like to see the reasoning behind the critique and even if I disagree I can respect it.  That’s what I’ve tried to do in the blog.

I hate internet reviewers who give blanket statements like ‘I hate this movie’ or ‘it sucks’ or ‘it is so boring’.  That’s a starting point but tell me whey.  Even if your ‘it sucks’ reviews are meant for humor,in the jokes tell me why you don’t care for the film.  Did the characters not work for you?  Did the plot meander?  Did you find the animation unpleasant?  I try to comment on all of those factors whether it is positive or negative in my reviews because those are the types of reviews I find fascinating.  People have dedicated years of their lives to these projects and we owe them a thoughtful response.

A while back I had posted that I didn’t really get the movie The Graduate.  The performances were good but I didn’t like the ending, and I explained why.  A friend told me why it made sense given the time and characters and it opened my eyes to the scene.  While I don’t think The Graduate is a masterpiece, I like it much better after that conversation, so I am always open to others insight and analysis.

In a way it is funny because my parents are not movie people at all.  My Dad is lucky if he see’s one movie a year but all of his kids love them.  Other than the Simpsons, nothing got us talking as siblings more than movies.

I believe movies are the great storytelling device of our era and if you miss out on going to the movies you miss out on understanding yourself, others and the age we live in.

So that is the 411 on the blog and how you can watch all of these great movies.  Thanks for reading and making it such a fun experience!